Having any of the following symptoms for more than three weeks warrants a visit to a head and neck specialist:
A sore on the lip or in the mouth that does not heal
A lump on the lip or in the mouth or throat
A white (leukoplakia) or red patch on the gums, tongue or lining of the mouth
Unusual bleeding, pain or numbness in the mouth
A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat that
Difficulty or pain with chewing or swallowing
Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
A change in the voice or hoarseness
Pain in the ear without evidence of local ear problems
Loose teeth not associated with any gum problems
Swelling, numbness, paralysis of the muscles in the face
Chronic sinus infections that do not respond to treatment with antibiotics
Bleeding through the nose, frequent headaches, swelling or other trouble with the eyes.
These symptoms may be caused by cancer or by other, less serious conditions.